Conference: "What's the 'Matter' in Anthropology?"

Past Event

13 May 2009, 10:30am - 6:00pm

St Hugh's College
St Margaret's Rd, Oxford OX2 6LE

Centenary Conference of the Oxford University Anthropological Society

Social scientists are developing ways of thinking about relationships to take into account our interaction with everyday objects. Expressions of sociality are being extended beyond the individual, to include aspects of personality cultivated by the experience of living in the material world around us. But how does the material world catalyse relationships and how do those relationships create the person? Are we enskilled by materiality, or governed by it? How do the properties of objects impose aspects of their ‘personality’ onto us? How can we characterise those relations if they aren’t simply ‘social? And how far can anthropology take these ideas and provide culturally-informed theories which may be useful to the social sciences generally?